HBO's Vinyl premiered on Sunday night with a bang — and one major gruesome death. It definitely took the wheeling and dealing '70s record company drama into dark territory. Twitter compared the Vinyl death scene to Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas and it's not the only influence the legendary director has had on this project. Exec producer Scorsese directed the pilot episode of Vinyl and hopes to direct more episodes of the series, according to The Wrap. It's a good thing, too, since so much of his awesome style is definitely seen in the show's two-hour premiere. There were points where Vinyl really did feel like a bonus Scorsese movie, but you know, taking place in the music industry.
During the two-hour pilot episode of the series, radio network owner Frank "Buck" Rogers' (Andrew Dice Clay in a scene-stealing performance) dies in a very gruesome and long beating scene. He even comes back to life for a bit, but then he's really gone. Twitter immediately saw its similarities with the classic Scorsese movie Goodfellas, which also features some of cinema's most memorable death scenes. As I watched the premiere on Sunday night, I couldn't help but notice how much Martin Scorsese influences Vinyl, because the TV series has so many aspects of the director's trademark films.
Vinyl is a period drama/comedy that follows Cannavale's Richie Finestra as he leads American Century through the emergence of disco, punk rock, and hip-hop in the '70s. Scorsese has been known to love the challenge of a period picture, like The Gangs of New York, The Wolf of Wall Street, Casino, and Goodfellas. Scorsese films also seem to always depict wild times in certain worlds that happen to have liberal cigarette smoking, drug use, and sex, which is definitely on display in Vinyl. The American Century execs don't even try to hide their cocaine use, but hey, Richie and his wife are trying to have a clean life with their kids. Mad Men's Don Draper, he is not.
Then there's the profanity. Scorsese's Goodfellas, The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street and so many other films are infamous for their heavy use of profanity. The Wolf of Wall Street actually broke the Guinness World Record for amount of swearing in a movie. Well, Vinyl can join the pack and that's OK, because it's on HBO, after all. It starts off slow with not much cursing, then some characters have some wild and profane outbursts that include lots of words you wouldn't want to say around your mom — unless your mom loves Scorsese movies.
But all of those amazing qualities are what make a Scorsese project his — and why we love them so much, right? Vinyl has all of those things and it's perhaps why the first episode was such a great ride and why I can't wait to see what happens next.